Renovate Your Kitchen
Tips to Keep the Cost and Stress Down!
The kitchen is without a doubt the most utilized space in your home.
Recent data shows the average kitchen remodel, full cost, is $60,000. Staggering to say the least and not applicable to everyone’s budget. With estimates like this it is easy to just make do with what you have. But there is hope for those that can handle a 10-15K makeover. There are many tips that are effective fixes that can make a BIG impact to your home. For the purpose of this blog, I will be referencing one of my Fredericton client’s kitchen remodel.
1- Know Your Budget
Do your homework, understand the cost of products to remodel a kitchen. Talk to experts to give you solid advice. There are many folks here in Fredericton from interior designers, kitchen companies and big box stores that can help you understand the components to your budget. From quartz, to laminate countertops, from soft close hinges to traditional hinges, to vinyl wrap doors to solid wood, it’s all there for you to learn and understand. Be proactive and take the time to understand how your money can and should be spent. Once you have an idea of cost then you can pick off the needs over the wants, set your priorities.
2- Cabinet Upgrades
Usually a kitchen renovation involves the installation of brand-new cabinets. So, look at your current set and see if they have some good years left, because a few simple upgrades can save you serious money. So, for the purpose of the below content -you have decided the cupboards still have some good mojo left in them.
A- Update the hardware
Any kitchen cabinets can be updated by replacing knobs, pulls and even hinges. I know because I did exactly that in my kitchen. Hardware is just like anything else these days, there is a plethora of options. Make sure you don’t purchase hardware that doesn’t resonate with the style of your current kitchen cabinets. There is everything out there from traditional to contemporary and even minimalistic hardware to choose from. TIP-Stay classic and go with polished nickel.
B- Reface your current cabinet doors
If you want a new look but just can’t drop the $ for a total redo, how about refacing the current cupboard doors! This is one of my favourite cost-effective tips. Tearing out and gut projects are so much more expensive than keeping a majority of your current materials and keeping the current kitchen cabinet layout. Going this route can drastically change the vibe of the kitchen. Below we used the current kitchen layout, replaced the cabinet doors with an updated classic white shaker. The remaining cabinet structure was painted white to blend with the new doors and voilà a new kitchen!
C- Sanding, Re-staining and Painting
If refacing is still not an option for your budget, you can always sand, re-stain and or paint the cupboards. You may find that natural wood look just doesn’t cut it now. TIP-I would highly recommend you stay away from a fancy colour scheme, you just can’t go wrong with a clean, classic white kitchen. Talk to a paint specialist to get the perfect white, not all whites are created equal
3- Countertop Upgrades
Shop for budget countertops, trust me when I say once you refresh the cabinets you will want a new countertop. The right countertop depends on your existing cabinetry, style and budget but you can save a bundle if you keep your mind open to options. There are budget countertops to be had out there. Ask various vendors if they have any countertop remnants. TIP- Butcher block countertop is one of the cheapest options to consider but you have to treat these countertops properly so that they can age gracefully.
Lights and light switches actually do play a big role in any remodel. In a kitchen avoid dim lighting. So much task work is required in the kitchen therefore make sure you have brighter warmer lighting. Lights are like vehicles these days, so many options, so talk to a lighting expert to see which options are best for the current layout of your kitchen. I actually removed the outdated ceiling fan/ light in this kitchen and opted for all pot lights. This kitchen gets very little natural light and I wanted the client to have a lighted kitchen in every zone of the space. Always put your pot lights on a dimmer switch. TIP-Understand how much natural light that transcends in your kitchen before you talk to a lighting specialist. Not all light bulbs are created equal!
One of the most cost-effective ways to change the entire style of the kitchen is to add a tile backsplash. Not only can the change be dramatic it can be very easy to do either by swapping out the current one or add a backsplash where there wasn’t one before. You can even use wallpaper as an option, just ensure the product is dirt and water resistant and you should be fine. Here we opted for a clean white 3×6 subway in matte finish. Most subway tile selected by home owners is a gloss finish. I chose matte to pair well with the natural beauty of the butcher block, a shiny backsplash just wasn’t the proper route for this client. TIP-When using white, make sure your whites are complementary. I have seen a few DIY kitchen remodels where the homeowner did not match the right white backsplash with the white cabinets finish. The outcome can be very disappointing.
6- New Appliances
New appliances can definitely make the kitchen feel refreshed. Appliances are costly for sure but try not to send your budget into a tailspin and follow these few suggestions. Avoid the fancy designer brands and go with what is on sale. TIP-Typically you can find great deals around the holiday season.
Wanting for a new kitchen is one thing, paying for it can be a beast. It might be worth the big splurge for many but remember there are plenty of simple upgrade options for you to consider. There are many trade-offs when dropping 60K on a kitchen, working longer to pay it off, losing savings for retirement etc. Think and plan carefully before you pull the pin.
If the kitchen will be out of commission while a renovation is taking place, make sure you have a backup plan ready. Move the essential components to the basement, set up a make shift kitchen somewhere in the home, even if it is in the middle of the living room. Be prepared!
Take time to choose things you really want and can afford and be patient. What matters is the final result.
We spend a tremendous amount of time with clients before a kitchen renovation begins. Planning is the most important component. When the first hammer swings we will ensure we have thought out every detail and scenario for you.
I do hope some of the above tips can be useful when you are considering a remodel / refresh. A huge thanks to my client for allowing me to use her kitchen for the purpose of the blog. Plus, all of this beauty is always a collaboration with the contractor and the trades. Thank you to Neate Builds and Executive Woodworking for bringing the design to reality.